After struggling to find an acceptable blood donor to save the life of one of his relatives, Hisham Kharma took the problem upon himself and, in November 2012, founded Law 3andak Dam (If You Have Blood) in Egypt.
Law 3andak Dam is an online service that matches blood donors with patients in need of blood, using Twitter and Facebook to broadcast emergency medical conditions to the community. Users can sign up to the platform with their location and blood type, searchable by patients through the online directory.
This non-profit initiative is run by a team of advertisers and designers who, although they have no medical background, are passionate about helping their community and making blood donation more accessible for those who need it most.
Partnerships & Challenges
The team has partnered with over 6 organizations to publicize
and finance their work, including Risala Association for
Charity Work, virtual pharmacy application Agzakhana, and Tahrir Supplies, an initiative that worked
to secure blood donors for those wounded during the 2011 Egyptian
In the near future, the team hopes to scale to cover the whole region.
The donation process takes place through direct contact between
the patient and the donor via the initiative’s online directory.
But Law 3andak Dam doesn’t offer any guarantees about their users;
if they're reliable or even have the right information entered.
“So far, there are no means to verify the information and seriousness of donors, because they enter their data by themselves on the website, not through a staff member who could verify their identity”, says Kharma.
Personally, I think this makes it a bit difficult for the project to gain credibility as an effective health service in Egypt. It’s critical to find a mechanism for following up on blood donations carried out through the initiative to provide data on the number of successful donations and further expand the platform.
Without this concrete data and success stories to point to, the platform may have trouble expanding in the region, though this is certainly a much-needed service for users across the Arab world. And with a service as serious as this, it may be a good idea to find a way to verify each new user.